Festival Napa Valley attracts some of the world’s finest musicians, who serve as faculty and coaches for the Academy. Performing chamber and orchestral music with renowned musicians is a distinctive part of the Academy experience at Festival Napa Valley.
For a list of past performers, click here.
For over three decades, cellist Christopher Costanza has enjoyed a varied and exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Costanza is currently the cellist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and with the quartet, he is an Artist in Residence at Stanford University, where he teaches cello and chamber music and performs a wide variety of concerts each season.
Violinist Katherine Fong has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2000. A native of Amarillo, Texas, she began playing at age four. Katherine leads a multifaceted existence as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, entrepreneur, studio musician, and mother.
Laura Hamilton was Principal Associate Concertmaster for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, where she led hundreds of performances over 33 years. She was previously a member of the Chicago Symphony and served as concertmaster at the Sydney Opera House. She currently teaches violin and chamber music at New York University.
Violinist David Kim was named Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Born in Carbondale, Illinois in 1963, he started playing the violin at the age of three, began studies with the famed pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the age of eight, and later received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School.
Priscilla Lee joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as Associate Principal Cello at the start of the 2016-2017 season. A 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, she began studying at age five and made her solo debut in 1998 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
A recipient of the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, Jodi Levitz serves as professor of viola at the Frost School of Music, Artistic Coordinator of Stamps Ensembles, and Co-Artistic Director of the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival. She was previously the principal viola soloist with the Italian chamber orchestra "I Solisti Veneti" and violist of the Ives Quartet and Chicago String Trio.
Native-Taiwanese violist Pei-Ling Lin is a dedicated chamber musician and teacher. Her passion in chamber music and education has brought her to major concert halls and festivals across the nation and abroad.
Violin soloist, pedagogue, and clinician Bettina Mussumeli enjoys a storied and varied career as a concert artist on the great stages of the world. She was co-concertmaster and soloist of the Italian chamber orchestra "I Solisti Veneti" and the first violinist of the Ives Quartet. She currently serves on the faculty of the Frost School of Music and the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival.
Scott Pingel has been serving as the principal bass of the San Francisco Symphony since 2004, after having worked with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Pingel has served as a tenured Associate Professor of Music at the University of Michigan and is currently a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Dov Scheindlin is a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and an associate member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki and Chester String Quartets. He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.
Margaret Donaghue is an associate professor of clarinet and director of the woodwind program at the Frost School of Music, as well as co-founder and Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Chamber Music Festival. She has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in more than a dozen countries across three continents and at major venues around the world.
Hailed as "a deft, smooth flute soloist" by the New York Times, Jennifer Grim's remarkable depth and breadth as a performer of solo and chamber repertoire has gained broad national acclaim. Grim is currently an associate professor at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and she serves on the Board of Directors of Chamber Music America.
Kevin Pearl is the assistant principal oboe of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a position he began in the fall of 2015. Prior to his appointment in Milwaukee, Kevin was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, and toured with the orchestra to the Harris Theater, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. During the summer he performs regularly with the Mainly Mozart All Star Orchestra and the Lakes Area Music Festival, with whom he performed the Strauss Oboe Concerto in 2016.
Jessica Phillips won her position in the clarinet section of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2001. She graduated cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was also enrolled in the joint lesson program with Manhattan School of Music. She has performed as Acting Principal Clarinet of the MET Orchestra during 2003-2004, 2011-2013, 2014-2016 and the 2021-2022 seasons. In 2013, she received the honor of having her chair endowed at the Metropolitan Opera by Ruth and Harvey Miller.
David Garcia has been Solo Trombonist of the Philharmonia Zürich, Orchester der Opera since 2007. Previously he was Principal Trombonist of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence, Italy) and the Hartford Symphony. As a guest he has performed worldwide with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, San Antonio Symphony, US Coast Guard Band, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Orquestra Sinfonia de Galicia (Spain) and Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne (Germany).
Adam Luftman joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Principal Trumpet in 2007. Originally from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, he also holds the position of Principal Trumpet in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Prior to moving to San Francisco, Luftman held positions with the Baltimore Symphony, the New World Symphony in Miami and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Julia Pilant is the Assistant Principal Horn. Before joining the Met, Ms. Pilant was principal horn with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. She then returned to New York City where she performed frequently with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra, The Stamford Symphony, and various Broadway shows.
Patrick is a Minneapolis Hornist with a wide array of accomplishments. He has performed with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin, Cheap Trick, and Harry Connick Jr. to Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Metropolitan Opera Company. He can be heard and/or seen in movies including The Manchurian Candidate (2004), The Greatest Showman, and Joker (2019).
Weston Sprott is currently Dean of the Preparatory Division at the Juilliard School and a trombonist in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He is a recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program Aspire Award and is an active speaker, writer, and advisor for diversity and inclusion efforts in classical music.
Christopher Still joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007. Before coming to California, he was the Principal Trumpet of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. He has also held the positions of Associate Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony and Principal Trumpet of the Charleston (SC) Symphony. Additionally, Christopher has served as Assistant Principal Trumpet with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago’s Millennium Park and Guest Principal with the St. Louis Symphony.
Matthew Strauss has been applauded throughout the United States as an energetic percussionist and timpanist with a diverse musical background. In addition to his position as Associate Principal Timpanist / Section Percussionist with the Houston Symphony, Mr. Strauss is an Associate Professor of Percussion at Rice University and faculty member at the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston.